When it comes to growing cucumbers in the home garden, there are a few things to consider. The first is what variety of cucumber to grow, so here are the best varieties of cucumbers for any size garden!
There are many different types of cucumbers available, from slicing cucumbers that you can use for fresh eating, to pickling cucumbers that are perfect for making pickles, to bush varieties that take up less space in the garden and can be grown in containers. Let’s check out the best varieties of cucumbers for the home garden!
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Why Grow Cucumbers in the Home Garden
Cucumbers are a summertime favorite in the home garden. If you’ve never considered growing cucumbers, here are a few reasons why you should:
- Cucumbers are easy to grow. They only require fertile soil, plenty of sun and water to produce cucumber fruits for summer enjoyment.
- They can be grown in the ground or containers – bush cucumber varieties especially do well in containers.
- They are versatile in the kitchen. From pickles to fresh eating to fun dips like tzatziki, cucumbers can be used in so many ways.
There’s something about cucumber snacks, cucumber sandwiches and cucumber water that just screams summer.Cucumbers are rich in vitamin A, potassium and magnesium. They also have a high water content which makes them great for staying hydrated on hot days!
Different Types of Cucumbers
Before choosing a specific variety of cucumbers to grow in the home garden, consider the different types of cucumbers and what they’re best used for.
- Slicing cucumbers: Slicing cucumbers are the cucumbers you’re most likely familiar with. These cucumber varieties grow long and cylindrical in shape, have a light green color that’s sometimes flecked with dark stripes, and tend to be fairly smooth on their surface. The skin of slicing cucumbers is easy to eat once washed!
- Pickling cucumbers: Pickling cucumbers are smaller than slicing cucumbers, have a bumpy skin and tend to be more green in color. These cucumbers are perfect for making pickles!
- Bush cucumber varieties: Bush cucumber varieties grow shorter and wider than other cucumber types – these cucumbers are great for small gardens or containers.
- Unique cucumbers: There are also fun varieties of cucumbers such as mouse melons, cucuzzi varieties, and lemon cucumbers which can be fun to grow and add to your garden space.
For space saving, try growing cucumbers vertically. Find my post here all about how to grow cucumbers vertically either in containers or the ground.
The Best Varieties of Slicing Cucumbers
When it comes to slicing cucumbers, there are many different varieties to choose from. Length, seeds, and length of time to harvest are all factors in choosing a cucumber variety. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Burpee’s Ambassador: Burpee’s Ambassador cucumber is an All-America Selection Winner that produces flavorful cucumbers for fresh eating. These cucumbers grow up to 12″ long and have a dark green color with few seeds.The cucumbers will be ready for harvest 55 days after planting, and Burpee’s Ambassador cucumbers can withstand cool soil temperatures without the risk of bitter cucumber fruits.
- Diva Hybrid Cucumber: If you’re looking for cucumbers that do well in containers, try the Diva Hybrid cucumber. This cucumber variety thrives in hot and humid conditions, has a dark green color with few seeds and produces cucumbers about 12″ long. The fruits are ready to harvest about 50 days after planting!
- Marketmore 76: Marketmore cucumbers are a favorite among gardeners for their long, cylindrical cucumber fruits. These cucumbers grow about 12-14″ long and have a dark green color with few seeds. They’re fairly disease resistant which makes them an ideal cucumber variety to plant in the home garden!
The Best Pickling Cucumbers for the Home Garden
Interested in pickling from your vegetable garden this year? These smaller varieties of cucumbers are perfect for picking and range from small petite cucumbers for gherkins to larger varieties great for making big dill pickles.
- Boston Pickling Cucumber: Boston cucumbers are on the small side which makes them perfect for pickling. They’re also great for fresh eating and preserve well after being picked from the garden.
- Wisconsin SMR Pickling Cucumber: Wisconsin cucumbers are a great cucumber variety for gardeners in cooler climates. These cucumbers do especially well in the northern United States and Canada, and grow about two inches long!
- National Pickling Cucumber: Another cucumber variety that does well in cooler climates, National cucumbers produce three inch cucumbers with a light green color. They’re great for pickling gherkins and have strong disease resistance!
The Best Bush Cucumber Varieties
Short of space but still want to grow cucumbers? Try a bush variety that can easily be grow in a container or raised garden bed. Bush cucumbers don’t vine and instead form a bush, making them easier to maintain and have in smaller spaces.
- Salad Bush Hybrid: Salad Bush cucumbers are a hybrid cucumber variety that produces steadily throughout the season. These cucumbers are perfect for fresh eating and have a sweet flavor.
- Bush Pickle Cucumber: Bush Pickle cucumbers grow about four to five inch cucumbers and can be used for both pickling and fresh eating. They have a short growing season, so use succession planting to grow these all season long.
- Saladmore Bush Hybrid: Another great cucumber variety for the small garden, Saladmore Bush cucumbers produce six to eight inch cucumbers that are perfect for fresh eating. These cucumbers have disease resistance and can be harvested over an extended period of time.
The Best Unique Cucumber Varieties
Looking for something a little different in your cucumber garden? These fun and unique cucumber varieties range from lemon shaped cukes to long and curved varieties from Asia! Find something fun to grow this year!
- Bush Hog Cucumbers: These cucumbers get their name from their funny shape- they look like little hogs! Bush Hog cucumbers grow about six inches long and are perfect for fresh eating and small spaces.
- Lemon Cucumber: Lemon cucumbers are aptly named for their lemon shaped fruits. These cucumbers grow up to eight inches long and have a light yellow/green color . They’re perfect for fresh eating and do well in containers!
- Armenian Yard Long Cucumbers: This cucumber variety is a cucumber-lovers dream! These cucumbers grow up to three feet long and thrive in hot, humid summer weather. Use these cucumbers for pickling or fresh eating and let them climb up a trellis for the best results!
- Chinese Snaked Long Cucumbers: Another fun cucumber variety , these cucumbers snake around your garden and grow up to three feet long. They’re great for fresh eating or pickling and have a light green color!
So, whatever varieties of cucumbers you choose to grow this year, choose at least one that is new to you! I enjoyed growing lemon cucumbers last year for the first time (as well as lemon squash!). If you have a favorite type of cucumber that you’d like to share, leave a comment below and let us know! Gardeners are always learning!
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